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AFL-CIO Now

What’s Really Happening Behind the Kitchen Door?

Jennifer Angarita, AFL-CIO National Worker Center coordinator, sends us this.

From locally grown, organic greens to grass-fed beef, we care about the food that comes out of the kitchen—but what about the workers who chop, grill, sauté and serve our food? Today, the restaurant industry is one of the largest and fastest growing industries in the United States. Despite its size and growth, the industry suffers from pervasively low wages, wage theft, non-existent benefits, rampant discrimination and often dangerous or unhealthy working conditions.

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Trumka: Wisconsin Forced Governor to Answer for His Divisive Tactics

WI

Wisconsin "forced the governor to answer for his efforts to divide the state and punish hard-working people" in today's recall election," AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said tonight following predictions Gov. Scott Walker (R) would retain his seat.

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Wisconsin: Polling Places Running Out of Ballots, Here's How You Can Help

WI

Polling places are running out of ballots in Milwaukee and people are walking away from polls without voting. We Are Wisconsin is tweeting out locations that need forms.

Help get out the word by tweeting this: 

EMERGENCY ALERT: Here are addresses of wards that need more registration forms. Pls print and take! http://bit.ly/JK4IY7 ‪#wiunion ‪#wirecall

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Wisconsin: Reports of Attempts to Suppress Anti-Walker Vote

Emmelle Israel

WI

Reports of sketchy robocalls, misleading e-mails and even canvassers urging  people not to vote have marred a day of Wisconsin recall elections otherwise notable for heavy turnout and enthusiastic volunteers. If the recall is successful, voters end the short-but-rocky tenure of Republican Gov. Scott Walker.

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Wisconsin: Tweets from the Front Lines

WI

Voters are reported to be waiting in long lines to get into the polls in Wisconsin, where the enthusiasm is high for the recall election of Gov. Scott Walker. Here is a sample of what's happening now in the state via Twitter.

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LAX Hilton Workers Share in $2.5 Million Settlement

UNITEHERE! photo

Some 1,200 workers at the Hilton Los Angeles Airport (LAX) hotel will share a $2.5 million settlement to a class-action suit that alleged the hotel withheld wages, failed to pay overtime and failed to provide meal and rest breaks to workers from 2004 to 2011. Hilton agreed to settle the suit filed in 2008. Juan Banales, a Hilton LAX cook of nearly 20 years, says:

For years, I was unable to take breaks. The law says you have the right to take breaks. It's a shame we had to file a lawsuit to get the hotel to understand that.

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Senate Blocks Paycheck Fairness Bill

In a 52-47 vote, the U.S. Senate blocked a vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act this afternoon. With 60 votes needed to proceed to a vote on the bill, Republicans succeeded in blocking pay equity for women for the second time. 

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Wisconsin: Packers Receivers Join Recall Drive

Jermichael Finley. Photo by elviskennedy/Flickr

WI

Let's give a shout out to Green Bay Packers tight end Jermichael Finley and wide receiver Tori Gurley who are urging Wisconsin voters to cast their ballots for Tom Barrett in his race to recall Gov. Scott Walker.

Both players say they are “proud to be union” workers. Four-year veteran Finely has more than 127,000 followers on Twitter; and Finley, entering his second year with the Packers, has more than 12,000. Both are members of the of NFL Players Association (NFLPA) .

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Wisconsin: Turnout and Enthusiasm High in Recall Balloting

TweetPic by bluecheddar1

WI

Turnout is high across Wisconsin today as working families are getting out the vote to recall Gov. Scott Walker (R) and elect Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett as the state’s new governor.

Voters also are casting ballots in recall races that pit Mahlon Mitchell, president of the Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin, against Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and four state Senate recalls. A pickup of one seat would swing control of the Senate away from Walker’s Republican allies who spearheaded his 2011 drive to eliminate the collective bargaining rights of 380,000 public workers.

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Workers' Rights Under Attack at Global Conference

The 2012 ILO Annual Conference is under way in Geneva, Switzerland, and representatives of employers have blocked discussion of some of the worst cases of workers' rights violations. The conference usually brings up the most serious cases from the annual report of the ILO’s Committee of Experts, a 17-member committee of eminent international jurists and legal scholars. But this year, the Employers Group has used procedural maneuvers to block discussion of any cases.

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